I have mentioned the astonishingly stylish and gallant bus crews before. But they are also quite environmentally conscious- as are all their passengers.
I was travelling in a bus, and one of the crew drank a bottle of water and tossed it out. Before it touched the road, all the passengers wailed in protest. And no, I was not among the protesters- I was watching events with my mouth open. The driver scolded the chap and stopped the bus. The litterer jumped out and picked it up. I love this incident. The fact that everyone protested, and a bus driver gave an impromptu lecture on littering is wonderful in itself. What makes it more interesting is that the litterer was embarrassed about that thoughtless act and apologised for it..next time he won't litter. Wow.
And yesterday. I was returning from the station, it was raining and the roads were flooded. In the manner of all good taxi-drivers, my auto-wallah started explaining to me just what the problems of the world are and how to solve them. The gist? Ban plastic carrybags. For 10 minutes, I received a quite informative and thoughtful commentary on the evils of plastic, and the policy measures necessary to reinforce a ban.
I warmed towards my auto-wallah and by the end of that lecture, was looking at the back of his head with adoring eyes. But The One need not worry. Just before I could slip him a note with my phone number and a dinner invitation, he concluded his lecture by linking pollution to um..um..India's rich cultural diversity. Ah well.